(b. 1565, Firenze, d. 1630, Roma)

Scenes of Early Christian Female Martyrs

Santa Bibiana, Rome

A narrative scene painted on a wall as a framed picture was referred to as a "quadro riportato," which to seventeenth-century thinking suggested that a framed panel painting had been translated into the medium of fresco. Ciampelli's wall pictures in the clerestory of the church of Santa Bibiana belongs to this category. Here the legends of early Christian female martyrs are narrated in a series of six simulated panel pictures. They are set apart from the actual wall decoration by frames and detailed 'tituli' (titles). The wall pictures executed by Pietro da Cortona and Agostino Ciampelli between 1622 and 1626 even imitate the effect of oil paintings in their colouring, in obvious contrast to the effect of the figurative wall decor.

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